One-pot dish consisting of several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi broth.
A range of ingredients can be added to this hotpot dish. The favorites are daikon radish and boiled eggs. But there are local variations. In the north, people like to add shellfish and sansai (edible plants gathered from wild), whereas octopus and sinewy cuts of beef are preferred in Osaka and elsewhere in the Kansai region, while pig’s trotters are added further south in Okinawa. When it comes to the broth, people in the Kanto region tend to prefer a thickly flavored concoction, while a lighter flavor is the norm in the Kansai region. Miso paste is often added to the broth in the Chubu region of central Honshu. Regional variations exist in the condiments that are served with oden. The dish is usually served with Japanese mustard, but in some places it is eaten with miso sauce or dipped in a mixture of grated ginger and soy sauce. Each area of Japan has developed its own version of this dish.
Oden originated from tofu dengaku (grilled tofu) from Edo and konnyaku dengaku (grilled konnyaku) from Osaka.
Initially served in stalls and candy shops, oden gained popularity as a homecooked meal, after fish-paste products became more accessible.
How To Make Oden
Prepare kelp and bonito stock. Use the stock to stew daikon, eggs, konnyaku, hampen (fish cakes) and chikuwa (fish sausage). Serve with Japanese mustard.
The trick is to slowly cook the ingredients in the stock’s low heat.